A Letter from your Vicar



My dear Friends,


As I write this letter, it seems to me that two very significant things have happened in the wider world of humankind. First was the wonderful rescue which happened in Thailand and secondly in our own nation was the departure of certain Cabinet ministers.


The rescue of those twelve boys and their coach was truly a miracle. What was wonderful was how the divers and other helpers came from various different nations, proving that we can achieve so much more by working closely together. They had one aim in mind and that was somehow to bring those boys out. It required, of course, considerable bravery and there was sadly a tragic casualty in the loss of the Thai navy seal who died. It required also great skill and imagination in trying to find a plan which would work against the great odds that seemed to be stacked against them. I believe too that we should celebrate how the boys themselves under the guidance of their coach managed to keep calm in the face of such ordeal in the cave. It seemed that the whole world watched, but, I think, we played our part in supporting the rescuers by our prayers and all our positive wishes. The Buddhist monks outside the cave kept up their vigil, praying in their way, just as so many of us as followers of different religions, including many Christians, did the same.


Now I cannot tell you where exactly the prayer fitted into the rescue but I have no doubt whatsoever that it fitted in somewhere. It is like that when we pray for people who are ill or who are going through challenging times in other ways and when relief and healing comes, we cannot evaluate where the prayer fitted into the outcome but we can know that it played its part somehow. I have seen so many instances where prayer has made a great difference, most frequently in bringing peace to people in their time of suffering.


On the same news programmes as the wonderful rescue, we had the world of politics and it was hard not to compare the two! Here there seemed such a lack of a loyalty to one another, no sense of working together for the common good, even if one is not in total agreement. One of the underlying qualities that is so often needed in life is the ability to find a compromise with those with whom one does not agree. It used to be that collective responsibility within the Cabinet was at the heart of government in the UK, but alas it has been eroded over a few decades and now we find ministers using the media – and social media – to attack others who should be colleagues. Well, we shall have to see how all these political things work out....


But where does that leave us? In our daily life, at whatever level – at work, within the family, in our community life – we always need to find ways of working together. This will sometimes require compromise and the ability to listen to each other.  I have sometimes found that by listening to a different opinion to my own, my view on some subjects could well be enhanced – indeed possibly radically altered. Just like all involved in the rescue, there must be a willingness to work on a common plan. Unity and loyalty must return to being prime virtues in our society!


We need also to realise that prayer has a part to play in national life – and indeed in political life. I wonder if, by chance we stopped grumbling about our leaders (and we all do sometimes) we spent time in prayer for them as encouraged by St Paul as he wrote to his friend Timothy “ pray for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness”. (1Timothy 2:2) would there be a difference..... it is worth a thought!


May God enable you to find peace and joy as he surrounds you with his love in this traditional holiday month,

Your loving Priest and Friend,